Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Aug 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Wingin’ It

music Antsy1Antsy McClain and his Flamingoheads get national attention with PBS concert series

Antsy McClain is a Santa Cruz success story, which is all the more intriguing as McClain is a Nashville, Tenn. resident. For years now, McClain has been regaling Santa Cruz with musical tales of his life in a fictitious trailer park called Pine View Heights, and it looks like McClain might soon be able to afford a double-wide. His humorous, catchy songs, along with his band, The Trailer Park Troubadours, will be the center of one episode of a new PBS series entitled Sierra Stages, which will feature national music acts—including Tommy Emmanuel, Roy Rogers, Blame Sally, and more—performing in venues around Northern California.

Sierra Stages is a 13-episode follow-up to PBS producer Peter Berkow’s Sierra Center Stage—an original series which featured music performances filmed at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, Calif.—and is set to debut on PBS in January 2014. The episode featuring McClain will be filmed at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville on Saturday, April 6.

From his home in Nashville, McClain explains how Santa Cruz figured so intimately into his rise as a musician. The way the coiffed pompadour  wearer tells it, all roads lead to KPIG founder Laura Ellen Hopper.

“At the end of 1999, we had lost our record deal after one album,” McClain laments. “The record label filed for bankruptcy, a Nashville-based smaller label. We were really frustrated and stupid me, I thought to myself, ‘Well, that’s it then!’”

McClain had already started thinking about abandoning his music career and becoming a teacher when “That very day Laura Ellen, the heart and soul of KPIG, calls me out of the blue. I still don’t know how she got my number as our whole label, agency, marketing and PR was gone and we were totally disconnected,” McClain recalls. “Laura told me that Santa Cruz was having a lot of fun with our album and that I had to fly out and do KPIG’s Humbug Hoedown. I told her we were thinking of quitting. She was like, ‘What the fuck? You’re just getting started!’”

Hopper even helped arrange a local band to play with McClain, featuring Jimmy Jackson, who is now playing with Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, Bruce Wandmayer, who still plays saxophone with The Troubadours, keyboardist Dan Becker and bassist Todd McMasters. “Our lineup is different now, but back then the bulk of the lineup was from the Santa Cruz area,” he says.

McClain’s musical personality revolves around a simple credo: Live life simply. But he’s convinced that not everyone understands that. “Some people, even after seeing a show, will bring up rednecks who have a commode on the front lawn with flowers in it and that is not what we are about,” McClain states. “I know trailer parks have been maligned for years and probably with good reason. But I was raised in a trailer park and my childhood was pretty normal.”

Now, with the help of PBS, the world will get to know what Flamingoheads (his loyal fans) have known for years: McClain and his Trailer Park Troubadours are the best band you’ve never heard of.

At the prospect of being seen nationally, McClain is ecstatic. “It’s going to be fun,” he says.

McClain is particularly excited about being a part of non-commercial television. “PBS has a fanbase that really supports artists,” he says. “People appreciate the programming, the heart and the art. It’s the antithesis to all the reality shows.”

He believes there needs to be more education-based programming but is not blind to what else is out there. “There is actually another new reality show called The Trailer Park Housewives of Las Vegas. That’s probably not going to be great for my career,” McClain says with a laugh. 


Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the Mello Center, 250 E. Beach St., Watsonville. Tickets are $49. Fans can meet and eat with the band at noon on Sunday, April 7 at Corralitos Grange Hall, 165 Little Corral Way, Watsonville. Tickets are $99 and include a concert ticket. For details, call (707) 342-9072.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual